The Great Gatsby

Synthesize TWO of your responses to these questions into one original
thesis that you will then treat as the basis of a well-developed literary essay of
approximately three typed pages (double spaced). You may wish to consider character,
conflict, values and/or class as possible subjects for the development of your thesis.

From his first appearance, Tom Buchanan is a mouthpiece of racism. For
instance, he sees himself as one of the “Nordics” who “make civilization;” and who must
prevent “these other races” from having “control of things” (13). Elsewhere, he
complains of the lack of “self-control” of people who “begin by sneering at family life
and family institutions,” and threaten to “throw everything overboard and have
intermarriage between black and white” (130). How does Tom’s expression of such
attitudes illuminate his character, his relations with Daisy, and his sense of his place in
the world?


The introduction of Myrtle and George Wilson underscores the importance of
social class in the novel. How does their presence sharpen Fitzgerald’s characterization
of the rich, and what might the resulting contrasts suggest about the role of class in
shaping social experience in The Great Gatsby

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